Content marketing is the new technique taking the marketing world by storm, right? Wrong, content marketing is nothing new – it’s just a concept that’s had a bit of a rebrand in recent years. However, marketers are pumping more and more money into content than ever before, and this carries a certain element of risk. In this article I’ll guide you through how to avoid the potential pitfalls so that you won’t fall short.
1. Have a Plan
With content marketing it’s crucial to have a plan to ensure that you don’t create scattergun content that doesn’t serve the needs of your audience. You need to consider what the needs of your audience are, and to do this you need to understand who they are. There are a number of ways of doing this, from using Facebook Audience Insights, to Google Analytics in order to profile your audience and understand them.
From this you can create a structured content strategy that covers the types of content you want to create, topics, and where the content will be distributed. Without creating the plan, it’s easy for your content to fall by the wayside as there isn’t anything to stick to, and there’s no structure in place.
2. But don’t Over Plan
However, the above being said – it’s crucial to not over plan. Over planning can make your content marketing cause grind to a halt. It’s fine to get feedback and to create the strategy as a team, but having too many people involved, or planning for months on end is always a bad idea.
It’s much more productive to get some audience data, outline your goals and draw up a draft plan which you can then refine. From there, don’t get too involved in people’s opinions (which will always conflict), get to a place where you can agree as much as possible and then launch with the proviso that you then study your content in the live environment and measure performance. From this measurement you will be able to quickly see what is and isn’t working, and therefore you let your audience decide what you do next.
3. Rushing Content
A lot of companies can be in such a rush to get involved in content marketing that they create content so quickly that it doesn’t do the job that it’s intended to. Rushing content through will normally lead to weaker content either due to less time in the design, development or writing phases, or less time in thinking through the concept and what the point of that content is. Creating content for content’s sake is not the way forward.
Many marketers still have the view of ‘build it and they will come’. Unless you’re a huge brand, generally this isn’t the case. The vast majority of businesses need to seed their content by placing it on a few relevant sites, sharing it on social media and talking to their audience about it to get things moving. Paid distribution is also a valid option these days – with options including Facebook NewsFeed ads, and content distribution platforms like Outbrain.
These are four of the most common pitfalls we see for content marketing campaigns at the moment. Either people fail to plan, over plan and never implement, rush their content, or don’t distribute it when it’s been created – all of which tend to lead to failure.
Make sure you plan enough, but not too much, build your content properly, and invest in distributing your content to ensure your success when getting your next content marketing campaign up and running.
Author: Ben Harper from www.datify.co.uk